Over the weekend 9th -12th September 17 people from West Australia travelled to Alice Springs to join the Australia Nuclear Free Alliance. We had representatives from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid West, Goldfields & the South West. There were people from France and the US who have been on the “Walk Away From Uranium Mining” who also joined as part of the WA delegation to ANFA.
This years meeting again really compounded that the major issue for Aboriginal communities facing uranium mining is there is no legal avenue to say ‘no’ to mining. People shared their stories about their country and spoke about the importance of maintaing culture and connection to country.
Curtis Taylor- Martu speaks about how some people want better health and education and are considering uranium mining while others want to protect culture and country and remember the old people always saying ‘no’ to uranium mining.
Photo Jessie Boylan
We heard about the flawed consultation process’ of uranium mining companies and the frustrations people have that no one will listen to them.
The Traditional Owners of Muckaty spoke about the ongoing push to dump Radioactive Waste at Muckaty and explained there will be a Supreme Court hearing in October challenging the site nomination process.
There was discussion about the failing education and health programs in remote communities and how mining companies use poverty and disadvantage in communities to bargain for mining deals.
Phillip White from the NCIC Japan gave us an update of what is happening at Fukushima and spoke at length about the adhoc evacuations that put more people at risk by moving them in to more highly contaminated areas, using geographic boundaries as a guide rather than evidence of radiation.
While there was great sorrow for those affected by the radiation fall out from the Fukushima reactor and some sense of responsibility for the Australian uranium used by TEPCO, there was also some cause for relief this year as we reflected on all the uranium mines and nuclear proposals that have not gone ahead, along with the falling price in uranium and the falling share price of uranium miners.